Fri, Sep 14, 2007 - Page 22 News List

Afridi the star as Pakistan beat Scotland

AFP , DURBAN, South Africa

Pakistan's Shahid Afridi, right, hits a six as Scotland's wicketkeeper Colin Smith watches on during their Twenty20 Cricket World Championship match at the Kingsmead stadium in Durban, South Africa, on Wednesday.

PHOTO: AFP

Shahid Afridi smashed 22 off seven balls and then grabbed 4-19 as Pakistan brushed aside Scotland by 51 runs in the Twenty20 World Championships on Wednesday.

The pugnacious all-rounder ensured his team faced no hiccups after Craig Wright had taken three wickets to restrict Pakistan to 171-9 at the Kingsmead.

Scotland, playing their first Twenty20 international, were shot out for 120 in reply with opener Fraser Watts the only batsman to offer resistance with 46.

Umar Gul chipped in with 4-25, including two wickets off successive balls towards the end as Pakistan warmed up for today's clash against arch-rivals India at the same venue.

"Playing against India is always fun," said Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik. "We did not bat as well as we are capable of in this game, but I knew we had the bowling to restrict Scotland."

Scotland, who elected to field after winning the toss, rattled the strong Pakistani batting line-up with wickets at regular intervals.

John Blain, Dewald Nel and Majid Haq took two wickets apiece, but Pakistan were boosted by Younis Khan's 41 off 29 balls.

Pakistan managed just 67 runs for the loss of three wickets at the half-way mark after the top order struggled to score against the steady Scottish attack.

Afridi, who came in to bat at 81-4 in the 13th over, swung the first ball he faced from off-spinner Haq for a six and added a boundary and another six off the next two deliveries.

Younis hit a boundary off the last ball of Haq's over that realized 23 runs.

Afridi could not build on the score as he moved across his stumps and attempted a paddle sweep off Wright, only for Haq to grab the catch at short fine-leg.

Younis fell two overs later when he holed out against Haq to leave Pakistan tottering at 116-6 in the 16th over.

Misbah-ul Haq (23) and Kamran Akmal (16) put on 30 from 17 balls to boost the total which left Scotland facing a target of nine runs an over.

Scotland's innings revolved around Watts, who hit nine boundaries before he was dismissed by Mohammad Hafeez in the ninth over.

But six batsmen failed to reach double figures as Gul and Afridi sliced through the middle order where four wickets crashed for six runs.

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